Indian American left-handed pitcher from Yale University Kumar Nambiar has reached the next level, having been drafted into Major League Baseball during the 2019 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics, based in Oakland, Calif.
Nambiar was among three players from Yale – Scott Politz and Griffin Dey are the others – chosen on the third day of the draft, held June 5. Another player, Simon Whiteman, was chosen on the second day, June 4, in the ninth round, a Yale news release noted.
"Big couple days for Yale Baseball. Could not be prouder," said John Stuper, Yale's head coach, who has had 44 players sign professional contracts in his 27 seasons. "I chuckle when people think a coach gets players drafted. 'Well, that coach gets a lot of guys drafted.' Coaches don't get players drafted. Players get themselves drafted. And these four all earned this opportunity because of their ability, work ethic and performance over the last four years. I'm so happy for all of them."
And in Texas, the Chicago White Sox selected UTSA pitcher Karan Patel as the 200th overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft June 4, according to an msn.com report.
The southpaw Nambiar was selected in the 34th round by the A’s.
"Kumar got himself on a lot of teams’ radar by the way he finished this year," said Stuper. "Absolutely dominant in his last two starts. This selection is well deserved."
Nambiar enjoyed the best season of his career this past spring, earning first team All-Ivy League honors. He ended the year on a roll, with complete-game shutouts on the road in his final two starts.
Opponents hit only .250 against him, giving him the eighth-best opposing batting average in the league. He was also eighth in the league in strikeouts with 57. He had a 3.90 ERA and three wins in 10 starts.
The son of Anant and Hema Nambiar, residents of Larchmont, New York, the star pitcher’s hobbies include traveling to new places and being outdoors, according to his bio. A graduate of Mamaroneck High School in New York, Nambiar was an economics major at Morse College, Yale.
Nambiar’s mother, Hema, is the founder of 13-One, a “sportswear line that embraces NASA space technology, according to its website. He has two siblings, a brother Sachin and sister Simran.
In 2018, Nambiar tied for second on the team with five wins as one of Yale's primary starting pitchers. He made 11 starts on the hill for the Bulldogs with 58 strikeouts in 57 and 1/3 innings, while earning a win at Virginia in which he allowed four runs in a seven-inning performance. He went 3-2 in Ivy League play, with wins over Brown, Harvard and a road victory at Princeton.
During the 2017 season, Nambiar was used as a starter and out of the bullpen. One of his outings included a seven-inning gem to earn the win over Holy Cross on June 4 at the NCAA Regional. He also allowed one run and struck out seven to earn the win against Dartmouth in his first start of the season; and came out of the pen to throw 5 and 2/3 innings and earn the win at Harvard. Nambiar saw action in 15 games in 2016, which he started four times. He finished that season with a record of 1-4, recording one save against Bucknell.
Prior to Yale, Nambiar played varsity baseball for three years and varsity basketball for two years at Mamaroneck. He was a two-time captain of baseball, where he went 10-0 with a 0.99 ERA in his senior season, striking out 97 batters in 78 innings and named All-Section and All-State in his junior and senior seasons.
Nambiar was honored as New York State Class AA Player of the Year in 2015, a year in which his team was New York State Champions and Class AA Section Champs.
The Indian American was named First Team All-NECBL summer after junior year and finished third best in the league with a 1.85 ERA.
Dey, Nambiar and Politz, along with Whiteman, were key parts of a remarkable run by the Yale baseball team in recent years. That included Ivy League championships in 2017 and 2018 and a pair of wins in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Earlier, the Chicago White Sox selected UTSA pitcher Karan Patel in the seventh round as the 200th overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft June 4, according to an msn.com report.
The Indian American player, from Sugar Land, Texas, compiled a 11-16 record throughout his collegiate career, with a career 4.36 ERA, including a 2.84 ERA in 2019, said the report.
His 2.84 ERA ranked third-lowest among all Conference USA pitchers, it noted. He placed fourth in innings pitched, strikeouts, and games started, while his opponent batting average was eighth best and he fanned the 10th most batters looking (24).
Patel played in high school at Kempner, leading the program to a pair of district championships.
According to an article in the Times of India, Karan’s father, Kuldeep Patel, had first come to North Carolina from India to work at his uncle’s restaurant. Now a hotelier in Houston, he ended up playing international cricket for the U.S.
Karan, who played both cricket and baseball on the weekends, told TOI he feels his cricketing background has actually helped him develop his baseball skills better.